AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures finished mostly 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 cents higher on Monday. After the close, the USDA released the Crop Progress report, showing planting progress in the US higher than estimates, at 17% complete as of Sunday. That is 11% behind the same time last year, and down 1% from the average of 18%. Along with that, 4% of the crop is already emerged, matching the average of 4% and last year’s 4%. The USDA Export Inspection report showed corn shipments for the week ending April 20 were 9.28% above last week and 27% higher than a year ago at 1,453,506 MT. Accumulated exports are now 62.24% larger vs. a year ago at 37,340,934 MT. Some of the 2016 crop has tested positive for vomitoxin, with most of the toxin isolated in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, and Michigan, according to a Reuters report. Taiwan’s MFIG is tendering for 40,000-65,000 MT of Argentine, Brazil, South African, or US corn, with the tender to close on Wednesday.
Soybean futures closed 9 1/2 to 11 1/4 cents higher, with most back months up 7 1/2 cents. Soymeal gained $6.80 in the front month, with May 17 Soy oil down 25 points. A weaker US dollar was an influence. The first Crop Progress report to include soybean planting progress, had soybeans 6% already planted. That is compared to 3% the same time last year. In the weekly Export Inspections report, the USDA announced 634,877 MT of soybeans were shipped during the week ending April 20. That is a 42.45% jump from last week and 124.53% larger than a year ago. Total exports for the 16/17 marketing year are now 232.6 million bushels above this point last year, the largest lead they have had thus far this year. Landed prices at Rotterdam are currently similar for US and Brazilian origin.
Wheat futures were mostly lower on Monday. MPLS was the weakest, down 3-5 cents on the day. CHI was steady to 2 1/2 cents lower, with KC losing 1 3/4 to 3 3/4 cents. Weekly shipments for wheat exports were 612,536 MT for the week ending April 20. That was 10.62% lower than last week, but is 41.14% larger than the weekly shipments reported last year at this time. Winter wheat conditions were reported at 54% good/excellent after the close, unchanged from last week, but down 5% from the same time a year ago. The Brugler 500 index has ratings at 347, up 1 point from last week as 1% was shifted from good to excellent. Last year the rating was 359 for the same week. Winter wheat progress showed 32% of the US crop was headed, up from the average of 23% and 24% last year. The Ukraine Ag Ministry estimates 2017 wheat production at 24 MMT, down from 26.8 MMT last year.
Live cattle futures fell from 40 cent to $1.85 in most contracts on Monday, following last Friday’s COF report. The April contract expires this Friday. Feeder Cattle futures were also 30 cents to $1.80 lower. The CME feeder cattle index was at $139.41 on 4/21, up $1.36 from the previous day. Wholesale beef prices were mixed in the afternoon report. Choice boxes averaged $218.67, up $1.51, with select gaining 40 cents with an average price of $204.29. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 115,000 head on Monday, up 7,000 from a week ago and 4,000 head for the same Monday in 2016. The Cold Storage report released this afternoon showed beef stocks in March dropping to 464.469 million pounds, down 3.59% from March 2016 and 7.65% from February.
Lean hog futures settled mostly 87.5 cents to $1.375 higher to start the week. The CME Lean Hog Index for 4/20 was down another 49 cents to $61.10.The USDA pork carcass value was down 98 cents in the afternoon FOB Plant report, with an average of $74.49. The rib and ham cuts were reported lower, with the belly down $4.55. National cash hog base prices averaged 8 cents lower in the afternoon report, with a weighted average of $53.41 and a range reported from $49.00-$54.75. The WCB region was 33 cents higher, with IA/MN up 40 cents. FI hog slaughter was estimated at 442,000 head for Monday, about 142,000 higher than last week and unchanged from the same week in 2016. Pork stocks in March were reported to decrease 9.57% from the previous March and 2.96% from February. Belly Stocks increased slightly to 20.57 million pounds in March, but are still 68.37% smaller than last year.
Cotton futures ended the day mixed on Monday. The July and Dec contracts were the only months lower, as they had the most trade volume. There was little action in the other months. The US Dollar was down 949 points on the day. In the US, cotton is reportedly 11% planted, according to the USDA’s Crop Progress report. This is up from 10% for the same time last year, but down from the average of 12%.Cash sales on the Seam shrank to 564 bales, with prices dropping 4.67 cents/lb to 75.25 cents/lb.The Cotlook A index was 75 points higher on April 21 to 88.55 cents/lb.